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DVD Review: 30 Rock — Season 1
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Tom Slaski   |  
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30 RockI love Liz Lemon! Physically!

I disliked her on Saturday Night Live, where she won an Emmy for writing before becoming one of the cast, but I love Tina Fey‘s alter ego Liz Lemon, who is head honcho of her own late night sitcom show on NBC’s 30 Rock.

30 Rock — which won the Emmy this year for Best Comedy — is a comedy that revolves around Liz Lemon who heads the whacky crew of a Saturday Night Live-type of show. The hysterical characters are played perfectly by this all-star cast. Jane Krakowski plays Jenna Maroney, the lead of The Girlie Show, until Alec Baldwin‘s character, Jack Donaghy, decides to draft ex-movie star Tracy Jordan, played by Tracy Morgan, to rejuvenate the show with his, literally, crazy antics. Liz has to learn to manage these and all the other cast members, including the writers and an NBC page, played by Jack McBrayer, under Jack’s wing. Kenneth the page is a standout character. He is played masterfully by McBrayer. Alec Baldwin is brilliant as Donaghy. A television performance like this is pure perfection and a joy to watch. Tracy Morgan and Jane Krakowski are great also, along with guest stars such as Isabella Rossellini, Nathan lane, Will Arnett, and Paul Reubens.

The Complete First season DVD of 30 Rock collects all 21 episodes and includes a bunch of bonus features, including cast commentary, original featurettes, bloopers, and deleted scenes.

The audio commentary section takes an episode and lets one cast member talk about it. The cast member who performs the audio commentary does so on an episode in which they had a certain impact. Like Tracy Morgan does an episode that revolves around his character, Tracy Jordan, and Tina Fey does an episode that she co-writes. Alec Baldwin, Jack McBrayer, and even Lorne and Henry Michaels, who are not on the show, but produce it, do an episode each.

Audio Commentary:
Episode Tracy Does Conan – Tracy Morgan
Black Tie – Tina Fey
Hard Ball – Lorne and Henry Michaels
Fireworks – Jack McBrayer
Hiatus – Alec Baldwin

The behind the scenes featurettes are a lot of fun and very informative. The only disappointing thing is there is only a split second siting of Tina Fey and no sign of Alec Baldwin. There is an awesome scene where Judah Friedlander is shouting out dual impressions for Lonny Ross to perform. It is amazing.

Behind the Scenes:
…with Judah Friedlander
…with Jack McBrayer and Lonny Ross

“An Evening with Kenneth Shorts” features interviews by Kenneth the page with cast members … and some kittens. How much is McBrayer and how much is Kenneth? The world may never know …

There are also “Makin’ It Happen Shorts” which are split second ads that appear on the regular show. I think they all add up to about 16 seconds.

30 Rock is definitely one of the funniest shows on TV. It is fast paced, smart, and full of laugh-out-loud moments. It boasts one the best cast lineups EVER and characters they were born to play. The DVD is great if you’ve never seen the show, but even better if you have and are a fan. Take a step behind the scenes to appreciate the show even more. And with the DVD I don’t have to wait until Thursday evenings to have my wife put on her lense-less, black-rimmed glasses, swoop her black hair down, and pretend I’m in charge of 30 Rock. I love Liz Lemon! Physically!

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